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Davies says BRICS crucial to SA industrial plan
April 5, 2013, 7:53 am


Davies says BRICS have provided a crucial platform to South Africa [BRICS5]

South Africa has put the focus squarely on its BRICS membership in its industrial policy plan for the next three years.

Rob Davies, South Africa’s trade and industry minister on Thursday unveiled South Africa’s three-year rolling Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).

“It [IPAP] is not a vision document, it is not a strategy document; it is an action plan,” Davies said when launching the plan in Sandton on Thursday.

The rand has fallen to a four-year low against the dollar, new Reserve Bank data revealed.

The plan has put emphasis on employment, encouraging innovation and battling poverty.

Davies has called for greater minerals beneficiation, new export markets, and leveraging the membership of BRICS.

The BRICS have provided a crucial platform to South Africa according to Davies.

“South Africa’s participation in the BRICS provides important opportunities to build its domestic manufacturing base, enhance value-added exports, promote technology sharing, support small business development and expand trade and investment opportunities,” the minister noted.

Davies said South Africa needs to take advantage of large emerging consumer markets for value-added products in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“We have begun to negotiate the complex shifts in trade policy required by our BRICS membership and our efforts to engineer a better balance between defending against low-cost competitors, building stronger linkages with the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies.”

BRICS need to take advantage of complementarities in major growth sectors, the South African minister urged.

“Having recently hosted the highly successful fifth BRICS Summit in Durban, the time is ripe to build on our different economic strengths and leverage complementarities in key growth sectors and value chains,” Davies said.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister had also suggested aiming to complement the markets and resources of the BRICS nations.

“A strategic [BRICS] goal should be the promotion of economic cooperation resting upon the complementarity of our natural resources, large markets,” Lavrov said in March.

South Africa has hailed the BRICS Bank announcement in Durban as an innovative proposal.

“BRICS-led Development Bank could contribute to enhanced financial support for domestic and sub-continental infrastructure and regional industrial integration,” said Davies.

He had earlier noted that, “Deepened co-operation between BRICS countries and Africa offers enormous potential for building Africa-BRICS economic co-operation on a sustainable and mutually beneficial basis.”

The BRICS Post